A new name has been dragged into the Petraeus mess: Jill Kelley, who allegedly received ‘harassing’ emails from the general’s mistress. Nina Strochlic on the new clues.
The FBI probe that uncovered Gen. David Petraeus’s affair with biographer Paula Broadwell stemmed from harassing emails she sent another woman. The woman apparently felt threatened and reported the emails, sparking an investigation that would lead to Petraeus’s resignation as director of the CIA on Friday. According to a senior U.S. military official, that woman is 37-year-old Jill Kelley, the State Department’s liaison to the military’s Joint Special Operations Command who lives in Tampa, Florida. It’s unclear the nature of her relationship with Petraeus, but her closeness with the general was enough that Broadwell allegedly demanded Kelley “stay away from” him. Here’s what has been reported about this mystery woman.
The outgoing U.S. and NATO led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander in Afghanistan Gen. David Petraeus claps, as he welcomes the new NATO- led International Security Assistance Force commander in Afghanistan U.S. Gen. John Allen during a changing of command ceremony in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 18, 2011. (Musadeq Sadeq / AP Photo)
She Is Close Friends With Petraeus
According to an unnamed mutual acquaintance who spoke to the Associated Press, the two are good friends and see each other often. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Kelley has described Petraeus as being like a grandfather to her family. A society column reports that in 2010, General Petraeus and his wife, Holly, attended Tampa Bay’s annual pirate-themed festival on Jill and her husband Scott’s front lawn. They apparently arrived with a 28-cop motorcycle escort to the classy get-together, which had waiters serving up crab cakes and lamb chops.
She's a Liaison to a Mysterious Counterterrorism Unit
Kelley is a "person of influence" in the Tampa community, according to a New York Times source, active in many charities and organizations. She's also an unpaid social liaison to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), one of the most mysterious components of the U.S. military. Based in Fort Bragg, N.C., the 30-year-old JSOC officially works to study and conduct “special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop joint special operations tactics.” But it’s widely known that the JSOC conducts top-secret counterterrorism missions, and encompasses such elite units as the Navy SEALs. The JSOC was integral in helping the CIA and Pentagon in the investigation on the attack of the Benghazi compound, which means Kelley and Petraeus likely crossed paths in their work.
She’s Married With Children
In 2004, Kelley had a baby girl named Natalie Grace, who according to the local magazine, was their second child. A Tampa Bay Times article in 2007 describes the couple as having three children, ages 4, 2, and 1.
Her Husband Is a Widely-Respected Doctor
Dr. Scott Kelley is currently a general surgeon at the Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Fla. He was formerly the head of Esophageal Oncology and Surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla. He left the Moffitt Center in 2008, but the year before was honored at Doctor’s Day for his accomplishments, an event the couple hosted at their house. The two share a similar interest: a few years ago Jill told a reporter that she put her medical studies on hold to have a baby. According to Dr. Kelley's bio, he did his residency and research in Philadelphia, where Jill grew up and lived until her mid-twenties, so it's possible they met during that time.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein calls Gen. Petraeus’s resignation a ‘heartbreak,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham says the former general must testify, Bob Woodward questions his intel into Libya, and more Sunday Talk.
Feinstein: Petraeus Resignation a ‘Heartbreak’
On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) backed down from her comments that President Obama should not have accepted Gen. David Petraeus’ resignation, saying that the CIA chief did the right thing by stepping down. Still, Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called him a “great leader” and admitted that “this is very, very hard.”
Graham: Petraeus Must Testify
The election may be over, but the oh-so-politicized consulate attack in Benghazi hasn’t faded from public scrutiny. On Face the Nation, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that while we don’t need to keep debating Petraeus’s moral failings, “we’ve got to get to the bottom of Benghazi.” And for Graham, that means putting the former general on the stand. With Senate hearings slated to begin this week, Mike Morell, acting director of the CIA, is down to testify in Petraeus’s place—but Graham argues it’s “absolutely essential that [Petraeus himself] testify before the Congress.”
News that the CIA chief was having an affair did not shock those close to him during his final tours of battle. John Barry on the lonely life of the general—and the early hints of impropriety.
Two days after his 60th birthday, superstar David Petraeus has crashed in flames—resigning as CIA director in the wake of an extramarital affair. This, of course, a personal tragedy for him and his family. It’s also a real loss for the country. No man is indispensable, but Petraeus’s brains, drive, and combination of military and political talents did give promise that the CIA would not be his last public office. Now the circumstances of Petraeus’s resignation suggest his public career is over. Other shoes may be ready to drop, as the FBI continues its investigation into indiscreet emails that helped uncover the affair in the first place.
News of the affair did not come as a total surprise—not to those who saw Petraeus and “the woman in the case,” Paula Broadwell, together in Kabul during Petraeus’s final year in command there through July 2011. Broadwell had been working for some time on a biography of Petraeus. He had agreed to aid her project: giving long interviews, allowing his staff to talk to her, clearing the path to colleagues and mentors from earlier in his career. By that last year in Kabul, it was clear to all who saw them that the pair had established a close relationship.
Nor was it hard to understand why. Broadwell is a smart and able woman, a West Point alum, and, as a major in the Army Reserve, a sometime instructor there. She is also a fitness fanatic to rival Petraeus. (On her website, she calls herself “Runner, Skier, Surfer; Wife; Mom!”) When Petraeus was suddenly sent to take over in Afghanistan in June 2010—replacing Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whose career flamed out after his staff gossiped imprudently to a reporter—Broadwell embedded in the joint-force headquarters, where Petraeus had his command center. The buffed and handsome pair could be seen on early-morning runs around the walled compound.
Relationships between senior male officers and some trusted female staffer were once fairly commonplace. (At least by anecdote, they are less common now in an era hyperconscious of harassment.) In hierarchies as rigid as the military, a general’s life in the field can be a lonely one. There are limits to what a commander can talk about even with the most trusted subordinate. So it’s not uncommon that a female staffer becomes a more-or-less permanent fixture on some star’s personal staff: the trusted listener. Most of those relationships stop a long way short of physical intimacy. At most, they become what Edwardian Europe called an amitié amoureuse—a relationship beyond the platonic, but well short of a grand passion. The most publicized example is Ike’s relationship with Kay Summersby, his driver in World War II England. In the run-up to D-Day in 1944, General Eisenhower was under unimaginable strain; it’s clear that he found emotional comfort in a relationship with Kay. Almost as clearly, this seems not to have gone beyond an occasional cuddle.
Petraeus’s staff group in Kabul was intensely loyal to him. Some had been with him virtually since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. They knew that Petraeus had been deployed for three fourths of the time since then. By this final tour, he was close to exhaustion. If Broadwell’s company—and transparent admiration—eased Petraeus’s burdens, so be it. When an inquiring reporter asked about Broadwell, late of an evening, a raised eyebrow and a shrug were as far as one staff officer would go. One of Petraeus’s mentors, a retired Army general, did allow that he had cautioned Petraeus. He was sure nothing was out of line, he hastened to say, but “appearances matter.”
In an ironic twist of timing, the nongovernmental job that Petraeus has long hankered after—the presidency of Princeton—is coming open. Princeton’s current president, Shirley Tilghman, announced in September that she would resign at the end of the academic year. Petraeus said publicly that he would not quit the CIA for Princeton. Now he has quit the CIA, but under circumstances that make it hard to believe Princeton would welcome him.
Whether you are male or female, gay or straight, it’s a bad idea to climb into bed with someone who works with you. Just ask David Petraeus, Joe Rogers, or Chris Kubasik.
On Friday, three top executives at major U.S. organizations saw their careers and reputations tarnished by admissions of—or allegations of—sexual indiscretions: CIA head David Petraeus, Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers Jr., and Chris Kubasik, who was slated to assume the CEO post at defense contractor Lockheed-Martin.
Getty Images; Corbis
Now, sophisticates know that infidelity happens all the time, in the C suite and on the factory floor. And having an affair, in and of itself, doesn’t disqualify anybody from holding a position of public authority. Marital infidelity certainly didn’t end the careers of Bill Clinton, or Newt Gingrich, or Louisiana Sen. David Vitter. In the corporate world, there are plenty of executives, bankers, attorneys—you name it—whose marriages fell apart as they climbed the ladder. Evolved people generally accept that marriage is complicated, and that things happen. And so as a general rule, when top professionals admit to, or are caught in, extramarital activity, it is regarded as a sign of human frailty or failing—not as a disqualification or reason to retire.
But in each of the three cases that came to light on Friday, there are solid organizational and business reasons as to why the activity—or alleged activity—was handled in the way it was. First, the Petraeus bombshell. Petraeus submitted his resignation after admitting he had an affair (revealed to be with the woman who wrote his biography)—even though the affair apparently is over. During the Cold War, it was generally assumed that spies or officials who had affairs posed a potential threat to national security. Why? Officials who fell into “honey traps” would be susceptible to blackmail. If the Soviets had evidence of a high official cheating on his wife—or, worse, in the closeted era, engaging in homosexual activity—the official would be more easily compromised.
That’s not what really happened with Petraeus. Nobody suggested that having an affair compromised his ability to do his job, or even his focus—although it certainly occupied some of his attention. Rather, it makes more sense to think of Petraeus as the CEO of a business. The business of the CIA is discretion, loyalty, keeping secrets, keeping information closely held. In allegedly using his work computer, and his position, to pursue an affair, this CEO was being highly indiscreet. By investing a professional writer-subject relationship with a deeper personal one, he also raised questions about how closely he would guard vital information. Because his personal behavior was at odds with the explicit mission of the organization he led, Petraeus found himself in an untenable position. It would be a little like the CEO of an organic-food company admitting that he subsists entirely on a diet of Cheetos, Twinkies, and Mountain Dew.
The episode involving Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers Jr., would at first blush seem to highlight a double standard. The allegations are much more troubling than those that caused Petraeus to resign, and yet Rogers has not suffered any professional consequences. In a lawsuit, documented here, Rogers is charged with exercising what might be called droit du seigneur. A former personal assistant to Rogers alleges that she was required to perform sexual acts as a condition of employment, and that Rogers routinely harassed her. An attorney for Rogers denies the allegations.
Holly Petraeus is a military scion, a financial warrior allied with Elizabeth Warren—and now, the wife of a publicly shamed general. Nina Strochlic on the woman behind the scandal.
Earlier this year, Gen. David Petraeus praised his wife Holly, calling her “the greatest source of support, wise counsel, and love that any soldier could have.”
And two days ago, he apologized to his former colleagues at the CIA for “engaging in an extramarital affair.” Such behavior, he wrote, “is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”
It has since become clear that the other woman was Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s biographer. But who is the woman whose forgiveness matters most in the coming weeks? Holly Petraeus, a reserved woman with a graying bob and sweeping bangs, has a distinguished legacy of her own to maintain.
When Hollister Knowlton was a senior at Dickinson College, she visited her parents at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where her father, Gen. William Knowlton, was superintendent. Through a family friend, she fell into a last-minute blind date with young cadet David Petraeus. The two attended a football game.
“There was a superintendent with an attractive daughter and 4,000 lonely guys,” remembered classmate Conrad Crane in an interview with USA Today. “Dave was the one who got the girl.” The two announced their engagement in The New York Times on May 12, 1974, and graduated soon after, Holly with a degree in both French and English and David as a second lieutenant. They married within two months. “I admired his intelligence and thought he was great. I had no way of predicting how far he would go,” Holly said about their early romance in a 2011 interview with Dickinson Magazine. And until the recent revelations, Holly and David had a seemingly storybook marriage: young sweethearts with successful careers, two bright children, and 38 years together.
From suave Jack Ryan to smarmy Eugene Kittridge, potential candidates for America's next top spook.
Jack Ryan: Clear and Present Danger
When it comes to fighting bad guys, no one does aww-shucks badass better than Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford), the CIA’s Deputy Director of Intelligence. The star of Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games is a straight shooter who’s sometimes accused by morally lesser men of being a “boy scout.” When he finds himself drawn into an illegal international drug war, he finds a way to save his men from the battle zone and bring down a corrupt president—just the man to keep America honest.
M: James Bond Films
The longtime head of Britain’s covert MI6 spy agency, M (Dame Judi Dench) could bring a little Anglicized discipline to the CIA. Sure, on the surface she’s cold and calculating, but there’s a maternal instinct beneath that frosty exterior that serves her well. Successfully navigating a personal and professional relationship with the roguish Bond has prepared her for anything.
Stumbled into finding out affair news.
Wow, this must have been a surprise. The FBI apparently accidentally discovered director David Petraeus’s extramarital affair after being asked to investigate “harassing” emails sent by his biographer and alleged mistress Paula Broadwell, a government official briefed on the case told The New York Times on Saturday. The official said the investigation “started with two women,” but “in the course of the investigation, they stumbled across him. We were stunned.” The retired four-star general announced on Friday that he had resigned from the CIA due to an extramarital affair, reportedly with Broadwell.
Now that CIA director David Petraeus has stepped down, citing an extramarital affair, his biographer is in the spotlight. Diane Dimond reports on what we know about Paula Broadwell.
Paula Broadwell lives in the historic, upscale Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C., with her radiologist husband and two young boys. Their stately two-story brick home sits on a spacious corner lot where ancient old trees hang over the streets. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home is listed on the tax rolls as being worth $908,000 and it is just three blocks from the city’s trendy uptown.
Screengrab via You Tube
It hardly looks like the place where a national political scandal might lead, but it is here that Broadwell, 39, may have been when she learned that Gen. David Petraeus, director of the CIA, had quit his post due to the revelation of an extramarital affair.
A reporter’s drive-by on the evening the Petraeus scandal broke revealed two cars in the opened garage, a BMW and a Nissan Pathfinder, and the house completely dark except for the soft glow from the front porch light. (Ironically, this is also the neighborhood to which former senator John Edwards moved his mistress, Rielle Hunter, and their infant daughter.)
Broadwell, the attractive brunette with the expressive green eyes, is reported to be the “other woman” in the Petraeus affair. His letter to the president read in part, “After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours." President Obama accepted the resignation.
To say Paula Broadwell is an overachiever is an understatement. She grew up in North Dakota, graduated from West Point and worked in military intelligence. She studied Arabic in the Middle East—Jordan in particular—and specialized in counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and geopolitical analysis. This is not a field that includes many women, so the stunning Broadwell likely stood out among her peers.
President Obama released a statement on Friday about Gen. David Petraeus's resignation as director of the CIA, although the statement does not address the extramarital affair behind the resignation, the president did note his “thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus.” The retired four-star general resigned Friday after an FBI investigation revealed the affair, allegedly with Petraeus’s biographer, Paula Broadwell. Broadwell is reportedly being investigated for improperly trying to access Petraeus’s email. The CIA has put deputy director Michael J. Morrell in Petraeus’s place at the head of the agency, and Obama insisted the CIA “will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission.”
On Friday, General David Petraeus resigned from the CIA, citing an extramarital affair. Paula Broadwell, the stunning author of his biography, ‘All In,’ is allegedly the mystery woman. By Isabel Wilkinson.
On Friday afternoon, General David Petraeus announced his resignation as CIA director, citing an extramarital affair. Almost immediately, Slate named Petraeus’s biographer, Paula Broadwell, as the mystery woman. And according to NBC, the FBI has been investigating Broadwell out of concern that she had access to confidential information.
Screengrab via You Tube
Broadwell is the author, with Vernon Loeb, of All In: The Education of General David Petraeus, a glowing 400-page biography of Petraeus, for which she was granted almost total access. After it was published in January, some said it read more like a love letter to the general than a biography. In a review for Rolling Stone, Michael Hastings called the book “a work of fan fiction so fawning that not even Max Boot—a Petraeus buddy and Pentagon sock puppet—could bring himself to rave about it.”
Broadwell, 40, is a research associate at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership–as well as a PhD. candidate in the department of war studies at King’s College in London. She is married to Scott Broadwell, an interventional radiologist. They live in the upper middle class Dilworth neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C., with their two sons, Landon and Lucien. She grew up in North Dakota, and attended West Point, the general’s alma mater, where she graduated with honors. She has worked for the U.S. Special Operations Command and an FBI joint terrorism task force. Beyond that, her list of accomplishments is long: she earned an MA from The University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies; an MPA from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and served as the deputy director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at the Fletcher School at Tufts.
Physically, Broadwell is tall and stunning, with long dark hair and green eyes. According to her biography, she has been a “sponsored ½ Ironman triathlete” as well as a “female model/ demonstrator” for KRISS, a manufacturer of .45-caliber machine guns. (On LinkedIn, she lists her current employer as Equipe Broadwell, LLC, seemingly a part of the Carolinas Freedom Foundation, a veteran’s organization in Charlotte.
Broadwell first crossed paths with Petraeus in 2006, when he gave a lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she was pursuing her master’s degree. According to the preface of All In, she introduced herself after that lecture and told him about her academic research. He gave her his business card and offered to help. “I took full advantage of his open-door policy to seek insight and share perspectives,” she writes in the book. And so began an alleged relationship, which, if sources are to be believed, eventually led to the general’s resignation from the CIA on Friday.
David Petraeus exits as head of the CIA under a cloud of scandal, making way for Michael J. Morell—an unassuming, 32-year agency veteran—to fill the spot at the top.
Michael J. Morell had no intention of working for the CIA. The Ohio native was fresh out of the University of Akron, where he earned a B.A. in economics. “I had every intention of going to grad school and getting a Ph.D. in economics and teaching,” he said in a 2006 interview. “But a friend of mine suggested, ‘Why don’t you send a resume to the CIA?’” He even approached his job interview as nothing more than a free trip to the nation’s capital.
Michael Morell, Deputy Director of the CIA, watches as US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, meets with Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz on June 20, 2012 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Pool / Getty Images)
Fast forward three decades, and the CIA’s top-ranking officer, David Petraeus, a highly decorated former general, has stepped down as the head of the agency, confessing to an extra-marital affair. Morell, for all of his initial lack of enthusiasm for the agency, has now been promoted from deputy to acting director of the CIA. He’s running the show.
Of course, this isn’t Morell’s first rodeo. He served as acting director once before, after Petraeus’s predecessor, Leon E. Panetta, resigned in 2011. Morell went back to his role a deputy director once Petraeus took his post.
But whereas Petraeus gained the position thanks to an impressive 37-year military career, Morell started at the bottom and worked his way up through the ranks.
His CIA career began in 1980, when he was 21-years-old. He was an economic analyst with a salary of $15,193. For 14 years, he served as an analyst and manager of East Asia intelligence, and was promoted to director of the CIA’s office of Asian, Pacific, and Latin American analysis in 1999.
The resignation of David Petraeus just days before Benghazi hearings will almost certainly raise questions about timing—and more. But what if it’s just a simple love affair? By Eli Lake.
Just days before he was scheduled to testify before Congress on the assault in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. diplomat Chris Stevens, Gen. David Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA on Friday after admitting to an extramarital affair.
Petraeus did not name the woman with whom he had the affair. A congressional staff member who deals with intelligence issues identified her to The Daily Beast on Friday as Paula Broadwell, the author, with Vernon Loeb, of the retired four-star general’s biography, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.
Senior U.S. officials say Petraeus informed the White House on Wednesday about the affair, just one day after President Obama won election to his second term. The president learned the news Thursday and considered his options that evening, according to one senior U.S. official. On Friday, he accepted Petraeus’s resignation.
Petraeus himself went public in a curt statement distributed Friday afternoon. It said, “Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the president to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”
On Friday, staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees were informed about the affair. One intelligence-committee staff member said, “We were told he knew that eventually at some unknown time this was going to come out, and he wanted to get out ahead of this bad story.”
The news came as a shock to the inner circle of advisers and friends who surrounded Petraeus as he rose from battlefield general in Iraq to his role at the top of the CIA. As late as early Friday afternoon, advisers at the CIA were confirming the general’s schedule for the following week—appearances that now have been shelved.
Officials confirm affair surfaced during FBI probe into biographer.
Gen. David Petraeus resigned as CIA director Friday, citing an extramarital affair. Officials confirm Petraeus’s affair surfaced during an FBI probe of his email, and his biographer Paula Broadwell. Broadwell is being investigated for improperly trying to access his email. In a resignation letter to the White House, Petraeus wrote that he had been married for 37 years and exercised “extremely poor judgment” in cheating on his wife, Holly, who has also worked for the Obama administration. President Obama saluted Petraeus for his “extraordinary service” and added that CIA Deputy Director Michael J. Morrell will take over as acting director. The Senate Intelligence Committee says Petraeus will no longer testify at next week’s closed hearings on Benghazi. Let the conspiracy theories begin.
Having trouble keeping track of the saga of David Petraeus's affair with Paula Broadwell? The Daily Beast's timeline has you covered.
On this week's Spin Cycle, Howard Kurtz chats with the longtime Slate editor, who compares the Petraeus story with Bill Clinton's Lewinsky scandal: it was a 'grotesque thing that went out of control, but was so much fun.'
After 38 years in Congress, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) is facing his toughest race yet and could join a number of longtime members in leaving Congress next year.
With David Petraeus out as head of the CIA, Michael J. Morell—a 32-year agency veteran—takes over at the top.
Diane Dimond reports on what we know about Gen. Petraeus’s biographer.
It's a joke-off! Watch Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Seth Meyers and more weigh in on the general.
From suave Jack Ryan to smarmy Eugene Kittridge, potential candidates for America's next top spook.